Next Issue
Previous Issue

Table of Contents

J. Fungi, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2017)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) A two-day old ascus of the budding yeast S. cerevisiae were stained with a lipid droplet binding [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-19
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle Fluconazole Resistance among Oral Candida Isolates from People Living with HIV/AIDS in a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040069
Received: 12 November 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1011 | PDF Full-text (933 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Oropharyngeal candidiasis, a common fungal infection in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), arises from Candida species colonizing the oral cavity. Fluconazole is the preferred treatment and is often used empirically. Few studies have investigated the prevalence of fluconazole resistance in Nigeria. This study
[...] Read more.
Oropharyngeal candidiasis, a common fungal infection in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), arises from Candida species colonizing the oral cavity. Fluconazole is the preferred treatment and is often used empirically. Few studies have investigated the prevalence of fluconazole resistance in Nigeria. This study aimed at determining the burden of fluconazole resistance among Candida species in the oral cavities of PLWHA. We sampled the oral cavities of 350 HIV-infected adults and an equal number of HIV-negative controls. Candida isolates were identified using germ tube tests, CHROMagar Candida (CHROMagar, Paris, France), and API Candida yeast identification system (BioMérieux, Marcy-l’Étoile, France). Fluconazole susceptibility was determined using the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute disc diffusion method. Data were analysed using SPSS version 21 (IBM, New York, NY, USA). The significance level was set at p ≤ 0.05. The isolation rates for Candida amongst HIV-infected subjects and controls were 20.6% and 3.4%, respectively (p < 0.001). In PLWHA, Candida albicans was most frequently isolated (81.3%) and fluconazole resistance was present in 18 (24%) of the 75 Candida isolates. Resistance to fluconazole was present in half of the non-albicans Candida isolates. Fluconazole resistance is prevalent among oral Candida isolates in PLWHA in the study area with a significantly higher rate among non-albicans Candida spp. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview The Cell Wall Integrity Signaling Pathway and Its Involvement in Secondary Metabolite Production
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040068
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1101 | PDF Full-text (592 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The fungal cell wall is the external and first layer that fungi use to interact with the environment. Every stress signal, before being translated into an appropriate stress response, needs to overtake this layer. Many signaling pathways are involved in translating stress signals,
[...] Read more.
The fungal cell wall is the external and first layer that fungi use to interact with the environment. Every stress signal, before being translated into an appropriate stress response, needs to overtake this layer. Many signaling pathways are involved in translating stress signals, but the cell wall integrity (CWI) signaling pathway is the one responsible for the maintenance and biosynthesis of the fungal cell wall. In fungi, the CWI signal is composed of a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) module. After the start of the phosphorylation cascade, the CWI signal induces the expression of cell-wall-related genes. However, the function of the CWI signal is not merely the activation of cell wall biosynthesis, but also the regulation of expression and production of specific molecules that are used by fungi to better compete in the environment. These molecules are normally defined as secondary metabolites or natural products. This review is focused on secondary metabolites affected by the CWI signal pathway with a special focus on relevant natural products such as melanins, mycotoxins, and antibacterial compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Cell Wall)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview HIV-Associated Cryptococcal Disease in Resource-Limited Settings: A Case for “Prevention Is Better Than Cure”?
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040067
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
Viewed by 1645 | PDF Full-text (2442 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cryptococcal disease remains a significant source of global morbidity and mortality for people living with HIV, especially in resource-limited settings. The recently updated estimate of cryptococcal disease revealed a global incidence of 223,100 cases annually with 73% of these cases being diagnosed in
[...] Read more.
Cryptococcal disease remains a significant source of global morbidity and mortality for people living with HIV, especially in resource-limited settings. The recently updated estimate of cryptococcal disease revealed a global incidence of 223,100 cases annually with 73% of these cases being diagnosed in sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, 75% of the estimated 181,100 deaths associated with cryptococcal disease occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Point-of-care diagnostic assays have revolutionised the diagnosis of this deadly opportunistic infection. The theory of asymptomatic cryptococcal antigenaemia as a forerunner to symptomatic meningitis and death has been conclusively proven. Thus, cryptococcal antigenaemia screening coupled with pre-emptive antifungal therapy has been demonstrated as a cost-effective strategy with survival benefits and has been incorporated into HIV national guidelines in several countries. However, this is yet to be implemented in a number of other high HIV burden countries. Flucytosine-based combination therapy during the induction phase is associated with improved survival, faster cerebrospinal fluid sterilisation and fewer relapses. Flucytosine, however, is unavailable in many parts of the world. Studies are ongoing on the efficacy of shorter regimens of amphotericin B. Early diagnosis, proactive antifungal therapy with concurrent management of raised intracranial pressure creates the potential to markedly reduce mortality associated with this disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryptococcus and Cryptococcosis)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Morphology Changes in Human Fungal Pathogens upon Interaction with the Host
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040066
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1502 | PDF Full-text (2094 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Morphological changes are a very common and effective strategy for pathogens to survive in the mammalian host. During interactions with their host, human pathogenic fungi undergo an array of morphological changes that are tightly associated with virulence. Candida albicans switches between yeast cells
[...] Read more.
Morphological changes are a very common and effective strategy for pathogens to survive in the mammalian host. During interactions with their host, human pathogenic fungi undergo an array of morphological changes that are tightly associated with virulence. Candida albicans switches between yeast cells and hyphae during infection. Thermally dimorphic pathogens, such as Histoplasma capsulatum and Blastomyces species transform from hyphal growth to yeast cells in response to host stimuli. Coccidioides and Pneumocystis species produce spherules and cysts, respectively, which allow for the production of offspring in a protected environment. Finally, Cryptococcus species suppress hyphal growth and instead produce an array of yeast cells—from large polyploid titan cells to micro cells. While the morphology changes produced by human fungal pathogens are diverse, they all allow for the pathogens to evade, manipulate, and overcome host immune defenses to cause disease. In this review, we summarize the morphology changes in human fungal pathogens—focusing on morphological features, stimuli, and mechanisms of formation in the host. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Botanicals and Phosphonate Show Potential to Replace Copper for Control of Potato Late Blight
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040065
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
Viewed by 1051 | PDF Full-text (2855 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Potato late blight (PLB) caused by Phytophthora infestans (Pi) is the most harmful disease in potato production worldwide. In organic farming, copper is used despite its persistence in soil and toxicity to soil organisms. To replace copper, suspensions of powders from three promising
[...] Read more.
Potato late blight (PLB) caused by Phytophthora infestans (Pi) is the most harmful disease in potato production worldwide. In organic farming, copper is used despite its persistence in soil and toxicity to soil organisms. To replace copper, suspensions of powders from three promising botanicals, including bark of buckthorn (Frangula alnus, FA), roots of medicinal rhubarb (Rheum palmatum) and galls of the nutgall tree (Galla chinensis), were tested in multi-year field experiments. The current study shows for the first time that botanicals could replace copper under field conditions and best PLB reduction on leaves was achieved with FA, reaching a level close to that of 2 to 3 kg copper per hectare and year. Better results than with copper were achieved with Phosfik® (Ph), a phosphonate-based product. For both FA and Ph, the mode of action is based on induced resistance, for Ph also on direct fungicidal effects. A disadvantage of Ph is the accumulation of residues in potato tubers. Nevertheless, two to three applications with 2 to 3 L/ha of Ph would be feasible to not exceed a minimal risk level (MLR) of 20 mg/kg of phosphorous acid as proposed by the European Food Safety Authority. Due to an excellent environmental profile and a complex mode of action counteracting Pi resistance, phosphonate-based products would be most suitable for sustainable PLB management in integrated pest management (IPM) programmes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Pathogenic Fungi and Oomycetes)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Adaptive Immunity to Cryptococcus neoformans Infections
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040064
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2583 | PDF Full-text (1194 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Cryptococcus neoformans/Cryptococcus gattii species complex is a group of fungal pathogens with different phenotypic and genotypic diversity that cause disease in immunocompromised patients as well as in healthy individuals. The immune response resulting from the interaction between Cryptococcus and the
[...] Read more.
The Cryptococcus neoformans/Cryptococcus gattii species complex is a group of fungal pathogens with different phenotypic and genotypic diversity that cause disease in immunocompromised patients as well as in healthy individuals. The immune response resulting from the interaction between Cryptococcus and the host immune system is a key determinant of the disease outcome. The species C. neoformans causes the majority of human infections, and therefore almost all immunological studies focused on C. neoformans infections. Thus, this review presents current understanding on the role of adaptive immunity during C. neoformans infections both in humans and in animal models of disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mucosal Fungal Infections)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Function and Biosynthesis of Cell Wall α-1,3-Glucan in Fungi
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040063
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1990 | PDF Full-text (2166 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although α-1,3-glucan is a major cell wall polysaccharide in filamentous fungi, its biological functions remain unclear, except that it acts as a virulence factor in animal and plant pathogenic fungi: it conceals cell wall β-glucan on the fungal cell surface to circumvent recognition
[...] Read more.
Although α-1,3-glucan is a major cell wall polysaccharide in filamentous fungi, its biological functions remain unclear, except that it acts as a virulence factor in animal and plant pathogenic fungi: it conceals cell wall β-glucan on the fungal cell surface to circumvent recognition by hosts. However, cell wall α-1,3-glucan is also present in many of non-pathogenic fungi. Recently, the universal function of α-1,3-glucan as an aggregation factor has been demonstrated. Applications of fungi with modified cell wall α-1,3-glucan in the fermentation industry and of in vitro enzymatically-synthesized α-1,3-glucan in bio-plastics have been developed. This review focuses on the recent progress in our understanding of the biological functions and biosynthetic mechanism of cell wall α-1,3-glucan in fungi. We briefly consider the history of studies on α-1,3-glucan, overview its biological functions and biosynthesis, and finally consider the industrial applications of fungi deficient in α-1,3-glucan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Cell Wall)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Ecoepidemiology of Cryptococcus gattii in Developing Countries
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040062
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1492 | PDF Full-text (698 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cryptococcosis is a systemic infection caused by species of the encapsulated yeast Cryptococcus. The disease may occur in immunocompromised and immunocompetent hosts and is acquired by the inhalation of infectious propagules present in the environment. Cryptococcus is distributed in a plethora of
[...] Read more.
Cryptococcosis is a systemic infection caused by species of the encapsulated yeast Cryptococcus. The disease may occur in immunocompromised and immunocompetent hosts and is acquired by the inhalation of infectious propagules present in the environment. Cryptococcus is distributed in a plethora of ecological niches, such as soil, pigeon droppings, and tree hollows, and each year new reservoirs are discovered, which helps researchers to better understand the epidemiology of the disease. In this review, we describe the ecoepidemiology of the C. gattii species complex focusing on clinical cases and ecological reservoirs in developing countries from different continents. We also discuss some important aspects related to the antifungal susceptibility of different species within the C. gattii species complex and bring new insights on the revised Cryptococcus taxonomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in the Developing World)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview MCC/Eisosomes Regulate Cell Wall Synthesis and Stress Responses in Fungi
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040061
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 26 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1279 | PDF Full-text (1682 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The fungal plasma membrane is critical for cell wall synthesis and other important processes including nutrient uptake, secretion, endocytosis, morphogenesis, and response to stress. To coordinate these diverse functions, the plasma membrane is organized into specialized compartments that vary in size, stability, and
[...] Read more.
The fungal plasma membrane is critical for cell wall synthesis and other important processes including nutrient uptake, secretion, endocytosis, morphogenesis, and response to stress. To coordinate these diverse functions, the plasma membrane is organized into specialized compartments that vary in size, stability, and composition. One recently identified domain known as the Membrane Compartment of Can1 (MCC)/eisosome is distinctive in that it corresponds to a furrow-like invagination in the plasma membrane. MCC/eisosomes have been shown to be formed by the Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain proteins Lsp1 and Pil1 in a range of fungi. MCC/eisosome domains influence multiple cellular functions; but a very pronounced defect in cell wall synthesis has been observed for mutants with defects in MCC/eisosomes in some yeast species. For example, Candida albicans MCC/eisosome mutants display abnormal spatial regulation of cell wall synthesis, including large invaginations and altered chemical composition of the walls. Recent studies indicate that MCC/eisosomes affect cell wall synthesis in part by regulating the levels of the key regulatory lipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI4,5P2) in the plasma membrane. One general way MCC/eisosomes function is by acting as protected islands in the plasma membrane, since these domains are very stable. They also act as scaffolds to recruit >20 proteins. Genetic studies aimed at defining the function of the MCC/eisosome proteins have identified important roles in resistance to stress, such as resistance to oxidative stress mediated by the flavodoxin-like proteins Pst1, Pst2, Pst3 and Ycp4. Thus, MCC/eisosomes play multiple roles in plasma membrane organization that protect fungal cells from the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Cell Wall)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Innate Immunity to Mucosal Candida Infections
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040060
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2646 | PDF Full-text (626 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mucosal epithelial tissues are exposed to high numbers of microbes, including commensal fungi, and are able to distinguish between those that are avirulent and those that cause disease. Epithelial cells have evolved multiple mechanisms to defend against colonization and invasion by Candida species.
[...] Read more.
Mucosal epithelial tissues are exposed to high numbers of microbes, including commensal fungi, and are able to distinguish between those that are avirulent and those that cause disease. Epithelial cells have evolved multiple mechanisms to defend against colonization and invasion by Candida species. The interplay between mucosal epithelial tissues and immune cells is key for control and clearance of fungal infections. Our understanding of the mucosal innate host defense system has expanded recently with new studies bringing to light the importance of epithelial cell responses, innate T cells, neutrophils, and other phagocytes during Candida infections. Epithelial tissues release cytokines, host defense peptides, and alarmins during Candida invasion that act in concert to limit fungal proliferation and recruit immune effector cells. The innate T cell/IL-17 axis and recruitment of neutrophils are of central importance in controlling mucosal fungal infections. Here, we review current knowledge of the innate immunity at sites of mucosal Candida infection, with a focus on infections caused by C. albicans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mucosal Fungal Infections)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview The PHR Family: The Role of Extracellular Transglycosylases in Shaping Candida albicans Cells
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040059
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 29 October 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1356 | PDF Full-text (8688 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Candida albicans is an opportunistic microorganism that can become a pathogen causing mild superficial mycosis or more severe invasive infections that can be life-threatening for debilitated patients. In the etiology of invasive infections, key factors are the adaptability of C. albicans to the
[...] Read more.
Candida albicans is an opportunistic microorganism that can become a pathogen causing mild superficial mycosis or more severe invasive infections that can be life-threatening for debilitated patients. In the etiology of invasive infections, key factors are the adaptability of C. albicans to the different niches of the human body and the transition from a yeast form to hypha. Hyphal morphology confers high adhesiveness to the host cells, as well as the ability to penetrate into organs. The cell wall plays a crucial role in the morphological changes C. albicans undergoes in response to specific environmental cues. Among the different categories of enzymes involved in the formation of the fungal cell wall, the GH72 family of transglycosylases plays an important assembly role. These enzymes cut and religate β-(1,3)-glucan, the major determinant of cell shape. In C. albicans, the PHR family encodes GH72 enzymes, some of which work in specific environmental conditions. In this review, we will summarize the work from the initial discovery of PHR genes to the study of the pH-dependent expression of PHR1 and PHR2, from the characterization of the gene products to the recent findings concerning the stress response generated by the lack of GH72 activity in C. albicans hyphae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Cell Wall)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Fungicidal Activity in the Presence of Keratin as an Important Factor Contributing to In Vivo Efficacy: A Comparison of Efinaconazole, Tavaborole, and Ciclopirox
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040058
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 19 October 2017
Viewed by 1223 | PDF Full-text (908 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Use of oral antifungals in the treatment of onychomycosis is commonplace; but their use can be limited by safety and patient concerns. Due to their broader safety margins, topical antifungals (efinaconazole, tavaborole, and ciclopirox) are a useful option in the treatment of mild-to-moderate
[...] Read more.
Use of oral antifungals in the treatment of onychomycosis is commonplace; but their use can be limited by safety and patient concerns. Due to their broader safety margins, topical antifungals (efinaconazole, tavaborole, and ciclopirox) are a useful option in the treatment of mild-to-moderate onychomycosis in the USA, but their antifungal activity has yet to be directly compared. This study aims to identify important factors contributing to in vivo efficacies of the three topical antifungals. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined by Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) M38-A2 broth microdilution. The MIC90 values of efinaconazole, tavaborole, and ciclopirox for T. rubrum were 0.0078, 8.0, and 0.50 μg/mL, respectively. The MIC90 values for T. mentagrophytes were 0.016, 8.0, and 0.50 μg/mL, respectively. Efinaconazole showed potent fungicidal activity in keratin-containing medium, whereas tavaborole was fungistatic, and ciclopirox not active. In the guinea pig model of onychomycosis, the therapeutic efficacy of efinaconazole was superior to those of tavaborole and ciclopirox. This study suggests that not only fungistatic activity (MIC), but also fungicidal activity in the presence of keratin, is an important factor contributing to the in vivo efficacy of topical antifungal drugs against onychomycosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifungal Susceptibility Testing)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview Global and Multi-National Prevalence of Fungal Diseases—Estimate Precision
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040057
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 18 October 2017
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 3466 | PDF Full-text (1348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Fungal diseases kill more than 1.5 million and affect over a billion people. However, they are still a neglected topic by public health authorities even though most deaths from fungal diseases are avoidable. Serious fungal infections occur as a consequence of other health
[...] Read more.
Fungal diseases kill more than 1.5 million and affect over a billion people. However, they are still a neglected topic by public health authorities even though most deaths from fungal diseases are avoidable. Serious fungal infections occur as a consequence of other health problems including asthma, AIDS, cancer, organ transplantation and corticosteroid therapies. Early accurate diagnosis allows prompt antifungal therapy; however this is often delayed or unavailable leading to death, serious chronic illness or blindness. Recent global estimates have found 3,000,000 cases of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis, ~223,100 cases of cryptococcal meningitis complicating HIV/AIDS, ~700,000 cases of invasive candidiasis, ~500,000 cases of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, ~250,000 cases of invasive aspergillosis, ~100,000 cases of disseminated histoplasmosis, over 10,000,000 cases of fungal asthma and ~1,000,000 cases of fungal keratitis occur annually. Since 2013, the Leading International Fungal Education (LIFE) portal has facilitated the estimation of the burden of serious fungal infections country by country for over 5.7 billion people (>80% of the world’s population). These studies have shown differences in the global burden between countries, within regions of the same country and between at risk populations. Here we interrogate the accuracy of these fungal infection burden estimates in the 43 published papers within the LIFE initiative. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview The Human Mucosal Mycobiome and Fungal Community Interactions
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040056
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 23 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 October 2017 / Published: 7 October 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2257 | PDF Full-text (482 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the advent of high-throughput sequencing techniques, the astonishing extent and complexity of the microbial communities that reside within and upon us has begun to become clear. Moreover, with advances in computing and modelling methods, we are now beginning to grasp just how
[...] Read more.
With the advent of high-throughput sequencing techniques, the astonishing extent and complexity of the microbial communities that reside within and upon us has begun to become clear. Moreover, with advances in computing and modelling methods, we are now beginning to grasp just how dynamic our interactions with these communities are. The diversity of both these communities and their interactions—both within the community and with us—are dependent on a multitude of factors, both microbial- and host-mediated. Importantly, it is becoming clear that shifts in the makeup of these communities, or their responses, are linked to different disease states. Although much of the work to define these interactions and links has been investigating bacterial communities, recently there has been significant growth in the body of knowledge, indicating that shifts in the host fungal communities (mycobiome) are also intimately linked to disease status. In this review, we will explore these associations, along with the interactions between fungal communities and their human and microbial habitat, and discuss the future applications of systems biology in determining their role in disease status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mucosal Fungal Infections)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview The Multifaceted Role of T-Helper Responses in Host Defense against Aspergillus fumigatus
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040055
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 28 September 2017 / Accepted: 30 September 2017 / Published: 4 October 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2434 | PDF Full-text (2304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ubiquitous opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus rarely causes infections in immunocompetent individuals. A healthy functional innate immune system plays a crucial role in preventing Aspergillus-infection. This pivotal role for the innate immune system makes it a main research focus in studying
[...] Read more.
The ubiquitous opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus rarely causes infections in immunocompetent individuals. A healthy functional innate immune system plays a crucial role in preventing Aspergillus-infection. This pivotal role for the innate immune system makes it a main research focus in studying the pathogenesis of aspergillosis. Although sometimes overshadowed by the innate immune response, the adaptive immune response, and in particular T-helper responses, also represents a key player in host defense against Aspergillus. Virtually all T-helper subsets have been described to play a role during aspergillosis, with the Th1 response being crucial for fungal clearance. However; morbidity and mortality of aspergillosis can also be partly attributed to detrimental immune responses resulting from adaptive immune activation. Th2 responses benefit fungal persistence; and are the foundation of allergic forms of aspergillosis. The Th17 response has two sides; although crucial for granulocyte recruitment, it can be involved in detrimental immunopathology. Regulatory T-cells, the endogenous regulators of inflammatory responses, play a key role in controlling detrimental inflammatory responses during aspergillosis. The current knowledge of the adaptive immune response against A. fumigatus is summarized in this review. A better understanding on how T-helper responses facilitate clearance of Aspergillus-infection and control inflammation can be the fundamental basis for understanding the pathogenesis of aspergillosis and for the development of novel host-directed therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mucosal Fungal Infections)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Novel Assay Reveals a Maturation Process during Ascospore Wall Formation
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040054
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 2 October 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1016 | PDF Full-text (1661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ascospore wall of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae consists of inner layers of similar composition to the vegetative cell wall and outer layers made of spore-specific components that confer increased stress resistance on the spore. The primary constituents of the outer spore
[...] Read more.
The ascospore wall of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae consists of inner layers of similar composition to the vegetative cell wall and outer layers made of spore-specific components that confer increased stress resistance on the spore. The primary constituents of the outer spore wall are chitosan, dityrosine, and a third component termed Chi that has been identified by spectrometry but whose chemical structure is not known. The lipophilic dye monodansylpentane readily stains lipid droplets inside of newly formed ascospores but, over the course of several days, the spores become impermeable to the dye. The generation of this permeability barrier requires the chitosan layer, but not dityrosine layer, of the spore wall. Screening of a set of mutants with different outer spore wall defects reveals that impermeability to the dye requires not just the presence of chitosan, but another factor as well, possibly Chi, and suggests that the OSW2 gene product is required for synthesis of this factor. Testing of mutants that block synthesis of specific aromatic amino acids indicates that de novo synthesis of tyrosine contributes not only to formation of the dityrosine layer but to impermeability of the wall as well, suggesting a second role for aromatic amino acids in spore wall synthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Cell Wall)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview Cryptococcus–Epithelial Interactions
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040053
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 28 September 2017 / Accepted: 30 September 2017 / Published: 2 October 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1763 | PDF Full-text (1039 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The fungal pathogen, Cryptococcus neoformans, causes devastating levels of morbidity and mortality. Infections with this fungus tend to be predominantly in immunocompromised individuals, such as those with HIV. Infections initiate with inhalation of cryptococcal cells and entry of the pathogen into the
[...] Read more.
The fungal pathogen, Cryptococcus neoformans, causes devastating levels of morbidity and mortality. Infections with this fungus tend to be predominantly in immunocompromised individuals, such as those with HIV. Infections initiate with inhalation of cryptococcal cells and entry of the pathogen into the lungs. The bronchial epithelial cells of the upper airway and the alveolar epithelial cells of the lower airway are likely to be the first host cells that Cryptococcus engage with. Thus the interaction of cryptococci and the respiratory epithelia will be the focus of this review. C. neoformans has been shown to adhere to respiratory epithelial cells, although if the role of the capsule is in aiding or hindering this adhesion is debatable. The epithelia are also able to react to cryptococci with the release of cytokines and chemokines to start the immune response to this invading pathogen. The activity of surfactant components that line this mucosal barrier towards Cryptococcus and the metabolic and transcriptional reaction of cryptococci when encountering epithelial cells will also be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mucosal Fungal Infections)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview The Role of IL-17 in Protection against Mucosal Candida Infections
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040052
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1038 | PDF Full-text (244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is a proinflammatory cytokine produced by adaptive CD4+ T helper cells and innate lymphocytes, such as γδ-T cells and TCRβ+ “natural” Th17 cells. IL-17 activates signaling through the IL-17 receptor, which induces other proinflammatory cytokines, antimicrobial peptides and neutrophil chemokines that
[...] Read more.
Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is a proinflammatory cytokine produced by adaptive CD4+ T helper cells and innate lymphocytes, such as γδ-T cells and TCRβ+ “natural” Th17 cells. IL-17 activates signaling through the IL-17 receptor, which induces other proinflammatory cytokines, antimicrobial peptides and neutrophil chemokines that are important for antifungal activity. The importance of IL-17 in protective antifungal immunity is evident in mice and humans, where various genetic defects related to the IL-17-signaling pathway render them highly susceptible to forms of candidiasis such oropharyngeal candidiasis (OPC) or more broadly chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC), both caused mainly by the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans. OPC is common in infants and the elderly, HIV/AIDS and patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy for head and neck cancers. This review focuses on the role of IL-17 in protection against candidiasis, and includes a brief discussion of non-Candida albicans fungal infections, as well as how therapeutic interventions blocking IL-17-related components can affect antifungal immunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host–Fungus Interactions)
Open AccessReview Fungal Strategies to Evade the Host Immune Recognition
J. Fungi 2017, 3(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3040051
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 23 September 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3740 | PDF Full-text (2246 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The recognition of fungal cells by the host immune system is key during the establishment of a protective anti-fungal response. Even though the immune system has evolved a vast number of processes to control these organisms, they have developed strategies to fight back,
[...] Read more.
The recognition of fungal cells by the host immune system is key during the establishment of a protective anti-fungal response. Even though the immune system has evolved a vast number of processes to control these organisms, they have developed strategies to fight back, avoiding the proper recognition by immune components and thus interfering with the host protective mechanisms. Therefore, the strategies to evade the immune system are as important as the virulence factors and attributes that damage the host tissues and cells. Here, we performed a thorough revision of the main fungal tactics to escape from the host immunosurveillance processes. These include the composition and organization of the cell wall, the fungal capsule, the formation of titan cells, biofilms, and asteroid bodies; the ability to undergo dimorphism; and the escape from nutritional immunity, extracellular traps, phagocytosis, and the action of humoral immune effectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host–Fungus Interactions)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to Top